O-Train closed until early September

Ottawa's light rail line is shut down for the summer for modifications that will help it run nearly twice as fast.

Friday was final day for light rail service

The screeching, clanging and dinging of Ottawa’s O-Train will be replaced with a different sort of noise this summer —construction.

Friday was the last day for the light rail service that links the western edge of downtown Ottawa to Little Italy, Carleton University and the South Keys shopping area.

Work is being done on the track and trains that will cut the time it takes to get from one end to the other almost in half – from 15 minutes to eight, according to councillor Diane Deans.

That means the train service will be replaced with a bus line until its return, scheduled for Sept. 3.

"(The bus) definitely is going to double my time, by about 15 minutes each way," said commuter Sandy Declare.

"Improvement is always good, I understand why they have to do it and I'm OK with it. Hopefully in the long run it'll work out."

"It's fast and you know it's on time," said another train user. 

"At 7 or 7:15 you know it's going to be there, which is not totally the case for OC Transpo buses."

Deans, the chair of the city’s transportation committee, said at the time of the August announcement the construction will include two passing tracks, changes to the signals, station upgrades and work on the Walkley Yards.

There will also be new trains, which Deans said have already been purchased.

Bike space a concern on replacement buses

Commuters at the southernmost Greenboro Station said they’ll miss the train this spring and summer for a number of reasons.

"There are some alternate buses, what they have the Rack & Roll which is where you put your bike on the bus ... but on each bus there are only two spots," said Mike Zaborski.

"Sometimes on the train there’s six or eight bikes in the morning, so I guess we’ll see how it turns out. If not, I guess I’ll ride all the way in," he said.

OC Transpo’s new 107 bus will run between South Keys and Lebreton stations during construction.

More information on that route is available on OC Transpo’s website.